Frequently Asked Questions
Q: If mead is made from honey is it really sweet and thick?
A: Mead will have the same viscosity as regular wines or beers. Mead can be made sweet or dry depending on the Honey to Water ratio used and how much of the honey is allowed to ferment. Our mead measures as semi sweet. Compared to a dry red wine such as a Shiraz, Merlot or Cab, Bardic Wells Mead will seem sweet; however it is not as sweet as dessert wines, ice wines and some table or fruit wines such as Mogen David or Manichevitz. Our still meads are a little sweeter than our lower ABV, small mead Clurichaun.
Q: What is the Alcohol by Volume of your mead?
A: Our still meads are 12.5 to 13%.
The small mead, Clurichaun is 9%
Q: Where do you get your honey?
A: Unlike 90% of its competitors, Bardic Wells operates its own bees. Our apiary, Cherry Hill Honey, is the largest in Oceana County. Our hives are organically managed and located in prime locations to insure that our honey - mead's most important ingredient- is of the highest quality. Nectar sources such as Star Thistle, Basswood, Milkweed and bramble berries make a light, high grade honey.
Q: What does your slogan "Party like a bard" mean?
A: Bards were the "rock stars" of the dark ages. No one had more fun than the bards. In fact they may have been the only people who enjoyed the Dark Ages. They couldn't work without partying - it was their job! So unlike common laborers of the day who rarely got a break, bard's lives were filled with steady, uninhibited, unpretentious - usually mead enhanced - partying. The slogan is our way of saying "Don't take life (or mead) too seriously - just have some fun".
Q: Your small mead is called Clurichaun - what is a Clurichaun?
A: A Clurichaun (Kloo'-ra-kahn) is a night form of a leprechaun. However, they are surly and enjoy drinking to excess after completing their chores. If you treat a Clurichaun well and share your wine cellars contents with him, he will be a good spirit. He will guard your wine cellar, keep casks from leaking and prevent wine from spoiling. If you treat him poorly he will be a pest and wreak havoc on your wine cellar. Clurichaun are not dependable custodians because they often neglect their duties to ride sheep and dogs bareback under the moonlight.
Q: What serving suggestions do you have?
A: Serve still meads slightly chilled (54 degrees). The small mead, Clurichaun, should be served cold. The still meads are a sipping beverage and can be served before a dinner party with a cheese plate or after dinner with dessert or sipped in place of dessert. The Cordial Magic (Coffee) is really good with chocolate. Cooking a pork roast in a bottle of mead makes a foundation for great gravy.
Q: Clurichaun is "naturally carbonated" - what does that mean?
A: Instead of injecting still mead with a manufactured, bottled CO2 gas to carbonate our mead we do it naturally in true artisan fashion. CO2 is a natural byproduct of fermentation; we bottle Clurichaun while it is still barely fermenting. The resulting CO2 bubbles are trapped in the capped bottle and forced into the mead, making it fizzy. The process requires much more attention and takes weeks instead of hours, but is consistent with our philosophy of keeping it real. This is one of those times when size DOES matter and smaller is actually better. Bubbles produced by natural carbonation are smaller and tighter than those produced by artificial means.
Q: Is it a bad thing if there is sediment at the bottom of the bottle?
A: No, many of our meads are unfiltered and we rely on gravity to settle out sediments from fermentation. Sometimes sediment from the bottom of the barrel will find its way into the bottles. It is totally harmless and will not affect taste. Of course our small mead, Clurichaun, will have sediment because the final fermentation actually takes place IN the bottle to naturally make carbonation.
Q: Why is mead served at weddings?
A: It became the ritual at medieval weddings for the bride and groom to toast with a glass of mead. Popular folk belief traces the origin of the word "honeymoon" back to the tradition of newlyweds drinking mead (honey) for the first month (moon) of married life to ensure a fruitful beginning to their union.